By Melissa Taylor
Capital West News
SALT LAKE CITY – Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, has been a member of the Utah Legislature since November 2006. Van Tassell represents District 26, which includes Daggett, Duchesne, Summit, Uintah, and Wasatch counties.
Van Tassell is the Chairman of the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, and Technology Committee, and several of his bills for the 2015 session are likely to pass through this committee. “I’m working on some transportation issues that I hope we can get resolved to continue to improve our infrastructure,” Van Tassell said.
Along with transportation bills, Van Tassell is working on legislation related to water and energy, endangered species, and Native American tribes.
Van Tassell has a passion for the Utah Legislature, he said, which started on a trip to see the legislature as an elementary school student. “That kind of sparked me and I thought about it as something that would be good to do at some time,” he said. “It ended up the opportunity came along [and] it’s been a good experience.”
Education was one of Van Tassell’s main platforms during his campaign and he intends to make it a priority. “There is no greater investment the state can make than in the preparation of those kids who will be our future workforce and our future leaders.”
During past legislative sessions, Van Tassell has voted in support of bills including expanding protection of police officers in lawsuits, reducing primary education classroom sizes, and prohibiting texting while driving.
For the upcoming legislative session, Van Tassell has a full slate of bills and requested bills that he is sponsoring. Among those already in the hopper are bills concerning commercial driver’s licenses, state highways, agreements between utility providers and municipalities, and the Utah Navajo Royalties Holding Fund. There are also several others that are still being processed.
As the start of the 45 day session began on Jan. 26, Senator Van Tassell encourages citizens of Utah to use the legislature website to find bills they are interested in and follow them throughout the session. “It’s a very open process if people want to avail themselves and spend some time,” Van Tassell said. “They can almost be there.”
The website also broadcasts all committee meetings live which can be found through le.utah.gov.